CFBA hears about PPP

Jim Pace told members of the Chadds Ford Business Association Thursday evening that, like everyone else, his business world came to a screeching halt followed by a sharp turn in March. Pace is the business development officer for BHCU, the Boeing Helicopter Credit Union.

“Instead of going out and soliciting business,” he said during a virtual Happy Hour held via Zoom, “I was manning the phones and uploading forms and keeping people from jumping off bridges. It was an interesting time.”

That “interesting time,” of course, refers to the beginning of business shutdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he referred to it as “probably the most stressful period we’ve all been through.”

The focus of his conversation dealt with the Paycheck Protection Program administered through the federal Small Business Association. Those loans — designed as an incentive for small businesses to keep employees on the payroll instead of going on unemployment during government-mandated shutdowns — carried a 1 percent interest rate with no collateral or personal guarantees needed, and those loans could be forgiven.

“The craziest part of the SBA was that they didn’t even know what they were going to do,” he said, adding that he and others in n his position were trying to advise people on the fly. In a short while, though, he said they provided about 125 SBA PPP loans. Some of the experiences were “pretty rewarding, helping folks in dire need,” he added.

Several of the CFBA members said they had applied for and received the loans, though there was “a lot of paperwork.”

Pace acknowledged that there was a lot of paperwork with much information needed and, he said, many small business owners might not have been as organized as they should have been.

“It as a wakeup call for a lot of folks…and systems were crashing, but we got through it...In the end, we were looking for people who hadn’t received loans. It helped out a ton of great people,” Pace said.

He said a second round of PPP loans was supposed to be released but that hasn’t happened, but other grants and funds are available. “My role now is to try to help people toward [those new programs].”

Mary Marines, a member of the CFBA board and owner of Pennock Insurance, said she thought the banking industry “did a phenomenal job in helping their clients. I commend you guys and thank you so much for your help in the process and the forgiveness.”

Pace said some of the loans for less than $1 million would be forgiven, “but we still have to put the forms together,” adding that the application forms for forgiveness have to be submitted by Oct. 21.

“There’s been a lot of great webinars and training on this, so any banker you’re dealing with should be able to handle this. And a lot of payroll companies and accountants are familiar as well,” he said.

Forgiveness forms may be found on the SBA website.

The CFBA will hold a webinar at 9 a.m. on Sept. 17 on how businesses can start their own YouTube channel and use compelling videos to promote products and services.

 

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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